Business Ownership Verification: Frequently Asked Questions

Why does BB&T ask for this information to open a new account?

Financial institutions are required to collect information on individuals who own and control businesses in order to help the government fight financial crime. The name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, ownership percentage (only for direct or indirect owners with a 25% or greater interest) and title for the Controlling Person (e.g., President, CEO, Vice President, Treasurer, etc.) are required at account opening. This is a one-time request unless there is a change to the management or ownership structure.

What types of businesses/legal entities are impacted?

The following lists should clarify whether you'll be asked to provide control and ownership information.

Businesses/legal entities that are required to provide control and ownership information include:

  • LLCs
  • Corporations
  • S corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Other non-individual entity types
  • Nonprofits (limited to Controlling Person only)
  • Trusts (limited to Controlling Person only)

Businesses/legal entities that are excluded from the requirements to provide control and ownership information include:

  • Publicly traded companies on NYSE, AMEX, or NASDAQ
  • Government entities

What information must be provided for the Controlling Person and each Beneficial Owner?

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security or Tax ID number (if this is not available, please ask your BB&T Relationship Manager about other options)
  • A copy of your government-issued ID (driver's license, passport, employment authorization card, work visa, military ID, permanent resident card, or US immigration visa)
  • Business title (Controlling Person only)
  • Ownership percentage (Beneficial Owners only)

How should information about the Controlling Person and Beneficial Owners be provided?

For accounts opened in a branch, please complete the Beneficial Ownership Certification Form (PDF) before you visit the branch. 

For accounts opened online, you'll be able to enter the required information in your application.

For both methods, you'll need to submit information for the Controlling Person and each Beneficial Owner.

What is a Controlling Person?

A Controlling Person:

  • Is an individual with significant responsibility for managing and making decisions for the legal entity/business that is opening an account. All legal entities/businesses that are included in the rule are required to designate a Controlling Person.
  • May hold a variety of positions or have multiple responsibilities within a company such as Executive Officer or Senior Manager, or be any individual who regularly performs such functions. Examples are President, Owner, CEO, COO, CFO, Vice President, Secretary, or other titles designated by the entity.
  • May also be a Beneficial Owner if the individual has a direct or indirect ownership interest of 25% or more.

What is a Beneficial Owner?

A Beneficial Owner is any individual with direct or indirect equity interest of 25% or more in the legal entity/business.

Here are a few more important details about Beneficial Owners:

  • A legal entity/business may have up to four Beneficial Owners
  • A Controlling Person may also be listed as a Beneficial Owner if they have a 25% or more equity interest in the entity/business opening the account
  • Individuals who own less than 25% of the entity/business should not be listed as Beneficial Owners
  • If an entity/business is owned by other entities/businesses, then any individuals who have indirect ownership of 25% or greater of the business that is opening the account must be listed as Beneficial Owners
  • If an entity/business is owned or partially owned by a Trust that has 25% or greater equity interest in the entity/business, then a Trustee of the Trust must be listed as a Beneficial Owner

Branch Banking and Trust Company, Member FDIC.

New York City residents: Translation or other language access services may be available. When calling our office regarding collection activity, if you speak a language other than English and need verbal translation services, be sure to inform the representative. A description and translation of commonly-used debt collection terms is available in multiple languages at

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